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John, Paul, and Ringo's hair in their hotel suite in Anchorage.

Above: John, Paul, and Ringo’s hair in their hotel suite in Anchorage.

 

The chronology becomes a bit tricky now, as The Beatles were in transit during this period — first from Hamburg to London, where they boarded a flight on the brand-new Japanese Airlines. Their destination was Tokyo, but they ended up being forced to stop in Anchorage, Alaska due to weather.

Anchorage, said Ringo, “was like a cowboy town to us; it was really like a backwater. My only great memory of Alaska is that at the airport they have a huge, magnificent white bear in a glass case.”

As it happens I once spent the night in that airport, waiting for a connecting flight that would take me to my friend James’s house in Bethel. My main memory was that it was cold in there; not much sleep was had.

The Beatles had much nicer accommodations, staying at the Anchorage Westward Hotel, which looked something like this:

anchorage

That’s a nightclub, apparently, on the top floor. If you were there at the right time tonight, whenever that was, you would have gotten to hang out with The Beatles. Hopefully you got a picture, because otherwise no one would believe you.